"Tehran taboo" is one among 7 films that have been selected to be screened in the
International Critics' Week section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
One of the most politically charged works to compete at Critics’ Week is
an animated feature, Ali Soozandeh’s “Tehran Taboo,” which delivers an
uncompromising snapshot of life in Teheran, a city where basic civil liberties are banned, corruption is
rampant and women are oppressed. --Variety
This animated social
drama tells the stories of young people in today's Teheran, a city of prohibitions and doctrines.
Pari, a single mom, can only feed her five year old son by
working as a prostitute. After a one-night-stand Babak faces the reality of having to finance a 'virginity-
operation' for Donya, while Sara is living the traditional Iranian life of an obedient housewife together
with her husband and his parents. When all of their lives start to collide, they will change drastically.
In his animated drama, the German-Iranian filmmaker paints a dark picture of the metropolis,
a city of prohibitions, draconian dogmas and restrictive laws.
"Tehran taboo" is an upcoming animated featured film
about the difficult life of 4 young people in Tehran directed by Ali Soozandeh. In their desperate search
for freedom and happiness, four young people from Tehran, Iran are forced to break the taboos of a
restrictive, islamic society.
The competition at Cannes
Critics’ Week includes for the first time a feature animation and feature documentary: Iranian director
Ali Soozandeh’s daring Tehran Taboo, an exploration of sexuality
in the Iranian capital, and Emmanuel Gras’s Makala, about a
young man in the Congo who is determined to offer his family a better future.
The lives of three strong-willed women
and a young musician cross paths in Tehran’s schizophrenic society where sex, adultery, corruption,
prostitution and drugs coexist with strict religious law. In this bustling modern metropolis, avoiding
prohibition has become an everyday sport and breaking taboos can be a means of personal
Tehran Taboo is completely filmed in a green screen and edited afterwards in post-production to give it a
comic-like style. As part of the “Rotoscoping” and “Compositing” teams at Little Dream Entertainment
GmbH I helped to archive the special look of the film and to create and build the different scenes and
stages. The film is expected to be in cinemas in 2016.
TABOO (2017) by Ali Soozandeh Animation –
Rotoscopy technique Germany/Austria / 2017 / 2:35 / 5.1 / Persian / 96’ / Completed
Tehran is a city full of restrictions and religious
laws where any type of crime leads to draconic punishment. Yet, the lust for life in young women and
men who seek to live freely has made it an everyday sport to avoid these strict prohibitions. Three
women of different social backgrounds and a young musician will cross path. This humanist film
expresses with tenderness and humor the hypocrisy and the contradictions of the system and its
For his ambitious debut feature film, Tehran Taboo, North Rhine-Westphalia-based German-Iranian
filmmaker Ali Soozandeh is combining
some innovative stylistic devices from animation and graphic novels. Shot entirely in a green-screen
studio in Vienna with real actors, the authentic social drama will feature animated characters who take a
close look behind the moral curtain of the Iranian theocracy. For this animated movie, Cologne-based
CGI and animation studio Pixeltruck developed new animation techniques in order to blend real and
animated actors with 3D animation and drawings made by hand.
A single mother lives with her five-year-old, mute son in a high-rise area in the middle of the
metropolis. In order to pay her rent and for the divorce from her jailed husband, she works as a
prostitute but pretends to be a nurse on a night shift. She shares her secret with her pregnant
neighbour, a bored housewife, who takes care of her son but also hopes to find a way out of her
everyday life. A young music student also lives in the same neighbourhood but gets into trouble after a
one-night stand with an 18-year-old virgin.
Tehran Taboo is the first feature-film
project by Cologne-based production company Little Dream Entertainment. The German-Austrian co-
production is staged in partnership with Vienna-based coop 99, ZDF/Arte and ORF. It is supported by
the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the Austrian Film Institute, the German Federal Film Fund,
Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the Vienna Film Fund, FISA and the Hessische
Filmförderung. In Germany, Tehran Taboo will be released theatrically by Camino Film.
Elmira Rafizadeh, Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, Arash Marandi, Negar Nasseri, Bilal Yasar, Morteza Tavakoli,
Alireza Bayram, Klaus Ofczarek
Director / Writer Ali Soozandeh DoP Martin
Gschlacht Costume Designer Erika Navas Make-up
Artist Wiltrud Derschmidt
Art Directior Ali Soozandeh
Set-Dresser Peter Suchy
Editors Frank Geiger, Andrea Mertens
VFX Supervisors Ali Samadi Ahadi, Christian Schiffler Producers Frank Geiger, Ali Samadi Ahadi, Marc Fencer, Armin Hofmann, Antonin
Svoboda, Bruno Wagner
1970 born in Shiraz, Iran 3D artist and freelancing filmmaker
+ studied at the Academy of Media Arts Teheran
+ Founder of CARTOONAMOON filmproduction
Script & direction of various short films Animation of various feature films Animation for
the cinema documentary THE GREEN WAVE (Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi, 2010) Animation for the
cinema documentary CAMP 14 – Total Control Zone (Director: Marc Wiese, 2011) Animation for
the feature film DIE MAMBA (Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi, 2013/14) TEHERAN TABU is his first
feature film as a director
Drama | D, A - IN POST-PRODUCTIONvon / by Ali Soozandeh